Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 14, 2016 (SKNIS): This year’s Restaurant Week, which runs from July 13 to 24, 2016, is already creating a buzz with its media launch held on April 13 at Ottley’s Plantation Inn.
The week is expected to showcase the creativity of local restaurants with this year’s featured ingredient, pumpkin.
Director of the Department of Agriculture, Melvin James, spoke about the department’s involvement in Restaurant Week, noting that the department is instrumental in supplying what the restaurants need to make their dishes.
“We are always excited about bridging that gap and producing what is necessary so that we can truly have an exciting restaurant week using local produce,” said the director. “There is a great opportunity to replace imports and so the Department of Agriculture tries its utmost best in every way possible to promote and market local.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, stated that the ministry is excited and feels very encouraged by the very positive response it is receiving this year from local caterers, restaurants and other eating establishments.
Mrs. Morton said that the initiative has positive effects on other sectors of the economy as well.
“It provides opportunities for building networks and strategic alliances, for capitalizing on the synergies needed to bolster and strengthen the individual sectors that will participate,” she said, noting that the local agriculture sector for example can and should position itself to benefit from initiatives like restaurant week.
“We are after all Liamigua, the fertile land, and so our produce, our herds, our seasonings, our fresh fruits and vegetables, our tea leaves, can add that authentic Kittitian flavour to the culinary delights on our menus, treats for locals and visitors alike.”
The permanent secretary stated that agriculture, interlinked with local eating establishments, translates into improved livelihoods for our local farmers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and community food vendors.
“Restaurant week is definitely an avenue for showcasing local produce and cuisine,” she said, adding that an activity like restaurant week “is critical to a vibrant, sustainable tourism industry and plays a vital role in enhancing and supporting national tourism product diversification and food security and our self-sufficiency efforts. She further added that food in itself “contributes to the overall competitiveness of a tourism destination and culinary tourism is growing rapidly.”
Restaurant week will not only feature menus from large restaurants but from small businesses snackettes, food vendors and micro restaurants that will also participate in the activities.
Mrs. Morton encouraged local businesses to capitalize on the opportunity to get more exposure.
Participating restaurants throughout St. Kitts and Nevis will be offering meals at special menu prices and will feature dishes made from local ingredients.
These restaurants include Belmont Farm at Kittitian Hill which will offer a menu at EC$ 162 or US$ 60, Serendipity which will serve a price fixed dinner at EC$ 108 or US$ 40 and Sunset Café at Timothy Beach Resort which will offer meals at EC$ 54 or US$ 20.
Smaller dining spots that serve lunch only including street vendors and snackettes such as the Jerk Pit at the new Ram’s Food Court will also offer menu choices and discounted prices.
All restaurant week menus will emphasize local ingredients and authentic Kittitian and Nevisian cuisine and will also feature drink specials.